During the month of August, I used Mint (by Intuit) as our budgeting app. Mint is fairly simply to set up and connects to most financial institutions. I was able to import data from my student loan and all of our checking, savings, and investment accounts, except Treasury Direct. Budgeting is fairly straight-forward too. You simply select the categories you want to budget and enter the amount. Transactions from your bank account can be “tagged” to a category so that you get an accurate snapshot of your spending. Except in our case…
Mint kept me in constant confusion when it came to transfers. We have various amounts automatically transferred to savings and our IRAs monthly and Wells Fargo transfers $1 to savings every time you use your debit card. Mint kept categorizing them all as income. While it’s easy to change transactions in Mint, I just felt it was all too much of a hassle. Because we used Mint, I don’t have a pretty little chart of our spending to add to this post. Sad 😦
On the upside of things, we cut quite a few expenses from our budget in August. We reduced our internet/phone bill from $76/month to $26/month. We cut our renter’s insurance by $7/year. We got rid of our mail forwarding service, which saves us $9.99/month plus the cost of postage. We cancelled our Hulu (non-commercial) subscription at $11.99/month, though we did decide to keep the Tivo service at $14.99/month so that we could record some of our favorite CBS shows this fall.
We also had a fair amount of side hustle income in August, despite my ongoing internal debate on the merits of side hustling while working full-time. In total, we earned an extra $209.57. In addition, our new apartment was offering a $400 Visa Gift Card for new leases signed in August. Though we haven’t gotten our gift card yet, it should be here just in time for our October vacation. I’m also hoping we get our full deposit back on our old apartment. If we do, we will actually make money on this move.
On the spending side of August, our absolute expenses were 61% because we paid some utility bills (internet and phone) for both apartments. 15% of our income went to travel and entertainment, including prepaying our Airbnb stay for our NY/DC trip next month. 6% was spent on flex expenses, including renting a U-haul for our move. And we managed to save 20% of our income this month.